Imagine sitting on a ridge of a mountain, looking toward a higher mountain just miles before you. Feel the cool autumn breeze on your face. Hear the birds chirp as the blue tint of dawn colors the foliage of the mountain. Ah, there it is, the yellow light of the sun peeking over the hills, intensifying with every second. The expectation of sunrise is overwhelming.
For many people, especially young adults, expectations rule the mind. Like an overbearing mother expecting all her children’s grades to be A+++. We’re under pressure, realizing that at the same time we are solidifying our life expectations, they are impossible to attain.
The average expectation plan may go as follows. Go to our top college. Graduate at age 22. Start our dream career at age 23. Get married at age 25. Buy our first house at age 26. Have our first kid at age 28. Have our last kid at age 35. Retire at age 55. Enjoy good health and a long life. Have good friends and healthy loved ones. Have the perfect, most attractive, most charming spouse. Make so much money that the swimming pool in our backyard is filled with $100 bills. Make it rain.
Then life hits. Our mom gets cancer. We’re single at age 30. Our startup flops and we’re left penniless. The losses keep coming, and suddenly, our hopes and expectations completely dissolve. Like a snowman in the hellish heat possessed by the Arizona desert. Seriously, it’s too hot there. Even for Satan.
There is a place, however, where we can put our hopes and expectations without being disappointed. That place possesses three things:
1. A constant, unchangeable source of expectation
2. A promised inheritance of full life and riches
3. Patience in waiting for the results of hope
1. Unchangeable Source
First, some scripture.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
"And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."
Ah, yes. Hope and shame. We’re reminded of the optimism we had when first leaving our parents home. Becoming a rockstar. A video producer. A Navy Seal astronaut lawyer. Proving to our father that yes, we can be successful at underwater basket weaving. When we don’t become great at the things we’d swore would make us happy, our dreams are lost and shattered. We realize we are powerless to changes that come with life circumstances.
What can be found here, though, is the unchangeable factor which leads to the fulfillment of dreams and ambitions: Christ. Humiliation is not a part of a dream placed in Christ. Problems only arise when we place our hope in earthly things. Things that are vulnerable to life changes. Like underwater basket weaving. What happens if you run out of oxygen, huh?
If we direct our focus on God, pursuing His desires for our lives, He will never disappoint us. Hope in Him will not put us to shame. “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart,” says Psalm 37:4.
God never changes. He is more faithful than the rising sun. Over the mountains. As we watch.
With that short truth bomb, we’ll talk about the promise of a heavenly inheritance in “How to Deal with Disappointment – Part 2.” The expectation is overwhelming…